© 2023 by Go Vaughan

Catch festive feels at Kortright

It’s been such a busy year that I barely even noticed December sneaking up on me in the dark. I haven’t had a chance to emotionally prepare myself for the end of the year! I certainly haven’t felt very festive. Fortunately, that changed last week when I went to explore the annual Magical Christmas Forest event at Kortright Centre for Conservation.

I stepped onto the pathway leading up to the main hall and found a trail adorned in glowing lights. I heard a jingle of Christmas cheer somewhere in the back of my mind and hurried on towards the music.

Lights lead you in

The upper level of the main hall was beautifully decked in Christmas magic, with tables and chairs set up for a quick bite before going outside. From maple chicken and waffles, to vegan poutine or gloriously hearty soup, this is the kind of fuel you need before heading out into the cold!

Downstairs from the main hall was an area set up for toddlers to run amok and make spectacular cards and decorations for Nonna and Grandpa. This is somewhere to pop in after you’ve had a chance to visit the Elves’ Workshop and chatted to Santa.

Leaving the main hall, I passed through the Elves’ Workshop; it was cheerfully decorated with gifts and each young guest of Santa had their name on display. Santa remembers everyone!

I followed the trail out the main hall towards the forest and Santa’s Cabin; it was lit up like a beacon in the snow. When booking your tickets, you’ll be asked to make an appointment to see the big man. This is your own time slot for photos, and to convince him that you deserve that Roomba and not the lump of coal he was going to leave you. Santa’s been watching you!

From Santa’s Cabin, I followed the tinkling bells towards the horse-drawn carriage. The beautiful beasts were delivering their passengers to the North Pole.

I headed back down the trail towards the main hall after my brief excursion to Santa’s hood so I could grab a hot chocolate and warm myself by the fire. Along the way I was greeted by colourful inflatables swaying and waving as I strolled past.

The excitement in the children’s voices as they headed past Olaf and Yeti was the final push my cheer-lacking heart needed to get me into the spirit of Christmas. I’m not going to lie though, the promise of hot chocolate and a warm fire played a part in thawing me out, too.

While sadly this year’s event is sold out, it will return next year. Be sure to keep a look out on the Kortright Centre for Conservation website in 2020 for ticket sales.

We wish you and your family a very merry Christmas if you’re celebrating, and a happy holiday if you’re taking some time out over the festive season to regroup and find your zen.